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The Fisher Mansion. “Truly One of America’s Finest Homes” Detroit, MI 22,000 Sq. ft 4 acres of gardens. Lawrence P. Fisher (1888-1961). One of 7 bros. Born in Norwalk, OH Fisher Body Division of GM President of Cadillac Bachelor until 69. Married Dolly Roach in 1957, died 4 years later.

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The fisher mansion

The Fisher Mansion

“Truly One of America’s Finest Homes”

Detroit, MI

22,000 Sq. ft 4 acres of gardens


Lawrence p fisher 1888 1961
Lawrence P. Fisher (1888-1961)

  • One of 7 bros.

  • Born in Norwalk, OH

  • Fisher Body Division of GM

  • President of Cadillac

  • Bachelor until 69. Married Dolly Roach in 1957, died 4 years later.


Architect style
Architect & Style

  • Architect: C. Howard Crane

    • Popular Theater Architect

    • Fisher Theater

  • Interior Designer: Francis J. Geck

  • Architectural style: Embellished Mediterranean Revival

  • Spanish Mission exterior.

  • Interior called “Hollywood Vintage”, a blend of Art Deco and various World styles, “basically, anything goes”

    • Style similar to mansions being built in Florida & California


Original garden plan and landscape design by charles s lesure 1928
Original Garden Plan and Landscape Design by Charles S. LeSure (1928)


Construction
Construction

  • Workers brought from Europe

    • Worked round the clock, lived on-site

  • Cost: $2,000,000 (Today would be $25,000,000)

  • 140 oz. silver & 75 oz. of gold and gold leaf used in Mansion


Main foyer
Main Foyer

  • Orange sculpted face of Neptune, god of the sea at entrance.

    • During parties, Champagne would flow from his mouth

  • Ceiling: handcarved Spanish Oak, replica of one found in Franco’s Palace in Spain

    • Took 2 years to complete


Upstairs foyer
Upstairs Foyer

  • Venetian stained glass windows

  • Ceiling done in Spanish style with gold leaf

  • Baroque archway opening the west wall

  • Two Corinthian columns at doorway

  • Serves as hub for other rooms


Dining room
Dining Room

  • Walnut walls with diamond-shaped burled walnut motif.

  • Pillars from a fifteenth century German Castle.

    • “Solomonicas – after the syle of pillars found in the palace of King Solomon in ancient Jerusalem”

  • Floors and walls contain very expensive yellow Italian onyx marble.

  • Mary Stantton Pewabic tiles behind water fountain

  • Now in use as a restaurant called “Govinda’s”


Library
Library

  • Fisher’s favorite room

  • Floor 2.5 feet thick oak wood

    • Constructed with butterfly joints and pegs – “no nails, will not creak” (1)

  • Hand tooled Spanish leather wall covering with red and blue gold leaf

  • Fireplace marble from extinct quarry in Italy. Made with fossils

  • Door in corner leads underground tunnel which goes to a domed, heated, indoor swimming pool.


Living room
Living Room

  • Mostly French influence, with leaded glass paintings from a French chateau

  • Ceiling done in manner of Swiss chalet

  • Sandstone fireplace, with figures of angels with lion’s claws on each side.

  • Francis Geck doors.

    • Figure sculpted on each is Leda, the mistress of Zeus, riding a sea monster. The Living Room side is done in Oak, the Music-Room side is Walnut


Music room
Music Room

  • Dancing and singing female figures along the edges of the ceiling

  • Ceiling done in classical Japanese style

  • French embroidered silk wall

  • Floor is walnut and black walnut parquet

  • Paneling along base of walls of African zebra wood


Grand ballroom
Grand Ballroom

  • Overall effect is that of open-air Spanish courtyard

  • Francis Geck framed mirrors

  • Red and gray American marble

  • Now serves as temple room


Mrs fisher s suite
Mrs. Fisher’s Suite

  • Done in French style from era of King Louis XVI

  • Hand painted canvas panels by William Wright.

    • “Cameos at the top of each panel are pictures of Fisher’s girlfriends”

  • Ceiling borders have leafing of mixed gold and silver


Master bedroom
Master Bedroom

  • Ceiling Mediterranean style from Southern France

  • Floor is East Indian rosewood

  • Bathroom walls are mostly Pewabic Tiles from the American Tile Company

    • No two tiles are alike

    • “Created by dropping chemicals in a random pattern on tiles before firing”

  • Gold in floor tiles: Silver in blue wall tiles

  • “The blue color is the same as the first Cadillac that rolled of the assembly line”

  • 7 head shower


Games room
Games Room

  • Two regulation size-bowling alleys downstairs

  • “Atmosphere of a medieval crypt beneath a castle”

  • Plaster arches and oak beams across ceiling

  • Three diamond-paneled French doors at back end, open to terrace by canal

  • Today used as gift store



After fisher
After Fisher

In January 1976, Alfred Brush Ford (great-grandson of Henry Ford) and Elisabeth Reuther (daughter of Walter Reuther) purchased the Mansion for $300,000 then donated it to their spiritual teacher. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The mansion was then renovated and transformed into a temple and cultural center, which is its current use today.



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